Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z as First Philosophy

Phronesis 68 (1):78–116 (2023)
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Discussions of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z tend to treat it either as an independent treatise on substance and essence or as preliminary to the main conclusions of the Metaphysics. I argue instead that Z is central to Aristotle’s project of first philosophy in the Metaphysics: the first philosopher seeks the first causes of being qua being, especially substances, and in Z, Aristotle establishes that essences or forms are the first causes of being of perceptible substances. I also argue that the centrality of Z to first philosophy is compatible with its status as theology.

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Samuel Meister
University Tübingen


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